Are Yoga Mats Waterproof

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Are Yoga Mats Waterproof & Machine Washable? If Yes, Learn How

Yoga is superb for body and mind, offering low-impact exercise that boosts flexibility, strength, balance, and well-being. However, doing Yoga outside or in humid conditions can make your mat wet and slippery, posing risks and challenges.

There are numerous Yoga mats available, but if you need one to handle sweat effectively, you may wonder: are Yoga mats waterproof? The answer lies in the mat type. 

Read on to discover more about waterproof Yoga mats and how they can enhance your Yoga experience with some amazing tips.

What Are Waterproof Yoga Mats Made Of?

A Yoga mat is essential for Yoga and other exercises. Usually 1/4 inch thick with an anti-slip surface, it’s made from rubber or PVC and may be sticky or non-sticky. Rubber mats offer better traction.

Waterproof Yoga mats are water-resistant, usually made of PVC or TPE to keep moisture out. Perfect for hot or power Yoga, they provide a slip-free surface that doesn’t retain sweat. Plus, they’re easy to clean, keeping odors at bay. 

While some prefer natural materials like cotton or jute, they’re less common because they absorb moisture. Waterproof Yoga mats exist but aren’t essential for everyone—consider one if you sweat a lot or have sensitive skin.

Are Yoga Mats Waterproof? How To Know If A Yoga Mat Is Waterproof?

Well, not all of them are. However, many Yoga mats offer both waterproof and water-resistant features, making Yoga mats more expensive but worth the investment. To understand the difference between waterproof and non-waterproof mats, let’s look at two common types:

  1. Open-cell Yoga mats: These absorbent mats are usually made of eco-friendly materials like natural rubber and have a leather coating or a blend of rubber and foam. While they’re thicker, they aren’t waterproof. Their porous design allows liquids to be absorbed, keeping the surface dry for a non-slip practice.
  2. Closed-cell (sealed-cell) Yoga mats: Also known as waterproof mats, these thinner options are made from basic PVCs (polyvinyl chloride), TPE (thermoplastic elastomer), or PER (polymer environmental resin). Due to their sealed construction, these mats don’t absorb water or moisture as quickly as open-cell mats. While they provide superior cushioning and durability, they might have less grip when wet.

Moisture is a Yoga mat’s biggest enemy. Top-quality mats can disperse water to keep hands and feet dry during practice. Hot Yoga practitioners benefit from such mats to avoid slipping, but their actual waterproofness may be debatable.

To determine if your mat is waterproof, check for these features:

  1. Look for a water-resistant or water-repellent coating to prevent moisture absorption.
  2. Search for water-resistant materials like rubber or PVC to avoid liquids soaking through.
  3. Choose mats labeled “waterproof,” specifically designed to repel liquids.
  4. Do a self-check with a sweat test and examine if your mat has absorbed sweat moisture after a week, especially during Bikram or Hot Yoga sessions.
  5. Check the user guide or visit the product’s official website for details about your specific mat. 
  6. If needed, contact the manufacturer for information on its waterproof capabilities.

Do Waterproof Yoga Mats Have Drawbacks?

  1. Waterproof Yoga mats can be pricier than non-waterproof ones. 
  2. It is an excellent investment for hot or power Yoga practitioners. 
  3. Depending on the brand and type, some may lack cushioning compared to traditional mats.

What Makes Waterproof Yoga Mats Beneficial?

Using a waterproof mat lets you focus on poses without slipping. Here are more advantages:

  1. Easy cleaning: Wipe them down or machine wash them.
  2. Improved safety: Better grip means fewer injuries.
  3. Hygiene: Keeps out bacteria and prevents slipperiness from moisture.
  4. Outdoor practice: Use them in hot or wet weather.
  5. Durability: They last longer.

Are Yoga Mats Machine-Washable? A Guide To Machine Wash Your Yoga Mat Correctly

Indeed, you can machine wash Yoga mats to maintain cleanliness and prevent bacterial growth. 


Start by checking the user guide in your mat’s packaging to determine if it’s machine washable and ensure proper care for your specific mat. If not, don’t proceed with the following steps.


Unroll the Yoga mat and smooth out any creases for even cleaning.


Place the mat evenly in the washing machine with the dirty side facing out. Add gentle Yoga mat detergent or a well-mixed Yoga mat cleaning powder solution. Avoid fabric softeners or bleach, as they can damage the mat.


For extra dirty or smelly mats, pre-soak in warm water mixed with vinegar (a natural disinfectant that eliminates dirt and grime). Make sure to rinse well after soaking in the vinegar solution.


Stop the machine periodically and reposition the mat for complete cleaning.


After washing, air-dry the mat rather than using an automatic dryer. If outdoor conditions aren’t ideal, you may opt for machine drying at a low temperature (below 30°C) to preserve its quality.


Let the dried mat lay flat in a room for 24 hours to ensure proper air circulation and prevent pore blockage.

How To Disinfect & Clean Your Waterproof Yoga Mat Safely?

An ABC-13 News article revealed lab tests showing millions of bacteria on Yoga studio community mats and neglected personal mats. Thus, using an effective cleaning tool to remove and kill harmful germs on your mat’s surface is essential.

Quickly Wipe Down Your Mat

Before the deep cleaning, wipe your mat with a wet cloth using cold water and mild soap if necessary. Avoid hot water as it may harm the mat’s material. Be mindful that most mats are made of porous PVC, making them prone to trapping liquid and bacteria.

Gently Hand Wash in Cold Water

Fill a sink with cold water and mild soap, like castile soap. Put your Yoga mat in and gently scrub away the dirt using your hands, a sponge, or a soft brush. Then, rinse the mat well with cold water to remove all soap. 

*Important: Avoid using harsh cleaning products.

Let Your Mat Air Dry

After washing, lay your mat on a flat surface in the shade to dry. Don’t use direct sunlight or heat, as it can harm your mat.

Use an Antibacterial Spray

Once washed and dried, spray your mat with an antibacterial spray cleaner made for Yoga mats. This helps keep it germ-free and smelling fresh.

To make a homemade spray cleaner, try this: 

  1. Mix ¾ cup purified water, ¼ cup white vinegar, and 3-4 drops of tea tree oil in a spray bottle. 
  2. Other essential oils like lavender, peppermint, or lemongrass can be used, but tea tree oil has antimicrobial properties.

Store Your Clean Mat Properly

When dry, roll up your Yoga mat carefully and store it in a cool, dark place away from sunlight or heat. Avoid humid or damp areas to prevent material breakdown.

By following these tips, you’ll maintain the cleanliness and longevity of your waterproof Yoga mat. Handle your mat gently during washing and care to avoid damage. With proper maintenance, your mat will last for years.

Some Interesting Facts About Yoga Mats

  • In ancient times, yogis practiced on soil, grass, or animal skins since Yoga mats didn’t exist.
  • Yoga mats emerged in the 1800s as poses became more complex and required a stable surface.
  • In 1982, Yoga teacher “Angela Farmer” used carpet padding during her classes in Germany, inspiring her father “Richard Farmer” to contact a manufacturer and become the first “sticky mat” retailer.
  • The Yoga mat industry is now worth an astounding 6 billion dollars.

Important Tips To Remember

  1. Maintain cleanliness by washing hands and feet before using the mat.
  2. Avoid applying oil or skin cream before using your Yoga mat, as it can cause slipperiness and difficulty during the session.
  3. Place a Yoga towel on your mat for better grip, especially in hot rooms or if you sweat more.
  4. Always air dry your Yoga mat after cleaning, keeping it out of direct sunlight to prevent damage.
  5. Replace your mat if you notice cracks or wrinkles on its surface.
  6. Always roll your Yoga mat from the end opposite to the handle for a tidy result.
  7. Keep your mat on a level surface to avoid creases and damage.
  8. Roll tightly and place at the bottom of a bag for minimal space usage and protection during transport.


Are 99 cent store Yoga mats waterproof?

Many wonders if all Yoga mats are waterproof. While not all are, several mats made of natural rubber or synthetic materials offer both waterproof and water-resistant properties. Though slightly pricier, they’re worth the investment for their easy cleaning and durability.

Can I use a waterproof Yoga mat for sensitive skin?

Yes, you can use a waterproof Yoga mat if you have sensitive skin, but consider using a mat designed for sensitive skin, which may not be waterproof. Some Yoga mats are made of PVC, an irritant for some people, while natural materials like cotton and jute are less likely to irritate the skin.

Do some Yoga mats contain dangerous chemicals?

Yes, some Yoga mats have harmful chemicals, but eco-friendly mats made from natural materials do not contain these harmful substances. Choose a safe and natural mat by researching your options.

Is It Safe to Wash My Yoga Mat in the Shower?

Certainly, you can clean your Yoga mat while showering. Just keep these simple tips in mind to maintain its quality:

  1. Use cool or lukewarm water – hot water may damage your mat’s material.
  2. Avoid harsh soaps or cleaners – they may cause early wear and tear.
  3. Thoroughly rinse off any soap to prevent dirt buildup.
  4. Hang your mat to dry completely – air drying prolongs its life and keeps it fresh.

Do Yoga mats absorb water?

Yoga mats are made to soak up sweat and water, ensuring comfort and preventing slips during practice. 

  • Some mats absorb water more than others: Thin, closed-cell mats resist water, while thick, open-cell ones can absorb more liquid, attracting more bacteria. 
  • Test a small section by pouring some water on your mat to check if it is water-absorbent. If it’s absorbed quickly, your mat likely soaks up water. If absorption is slow, your mat is probably waterproof.

Can you use a Yoga mat in the rain?

Using a non-waterproof mat in the rain is risky. Even waterproof ones should avoid constant rain exposure as it can damage them. A Yoga mat bag helps prevent bacteria growth.

Does water damage rubber mats?

Rubber is an excellent waterproof flooring choice for any setting. Solid rubber offers a slip-resistant surface and resists water damage effectively.

Are Yoga Mats Slippery When Wet?

Yoga mats can get slippery if wet since most are made to grip the floor. Choosing a non-slippery material when wet is vital. Common Yoga mat materials include:

  1. PVC – A synthetic plastic, durable, easy to clean, and slip-resistant.
  2. Rubber – A natural, slip-resistant, and easy-to-clean material but less durable.
  3. Cork – An eco-friendly, biodegradable, and slip-resistant option.

Pick the right material to ensure a safe and comfortable Yoga practice.


Most Yoga mats aren’t waterproof, but investing in a waterproof and machine-washable mat is worth it. They’re easy to clean and durable, perfect for outdoor sessions and sweaty workouts. Remember, they’re still prone to spills and stains, so consider a stain-resistant mat or one with a built-in cup holder. Enjoy your Yoga practice and happy mat shopping!